This is a collaborative post.
Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, and it is hard to console a person going through the pain. If it happens to a friend, you will feel a part of their sadness even though nothing you say or do can alleviate the grief. But supporting them should not be an afterthought. You’ll probably struggle with the right way to help, but you can do a lot if you are genuinely concerned. Here are some ways you can support a mourning friend who has lost a loved one.
Take an initiative
People often want to help a friend going through a severe loss, but words can fail you at times like these. You will probably be lost for words or too scared that you will say the wrong thing. It might be easier to do nothing at all, but you should still take an initiative. A kind word or gesture may just be something that your friend needs at this time. Even being there without saying or doing anything can make a difference.
Send across a grief-care package
Sending across a grief-care package is a thoughtful way to support your friend and their family, even if you cannot be there in-person. Pick things they may need throughout the day and send them over to their place. It should include essentials like comfort foods, toiletries, books, and blankets. Don’t forget to add some gifts for the children, if they have little ones at home.
Help them with funeral arrangements
A more practical idea to support a mourning friend is by extending help for the funeral arrangements. They may want something special, and you can help them have a perfect event. If you live in California, you can easily organise one with personalised service. Check around for funeral homes in Los Angeles, CA, that offer such services. You can accompany your friend or take inputs and plan the entire service with the funeral home.
Do the recurring things for them
Your mourning friend will need your support even after the funeral. Try picking the recurring tasks such as walking the dog, doing laundry, driving the kids to school, babysitting, and refilling prescriptions. These may seem like small, ordinary tasks, but handling them can be a good way to help your friend get time-off. While you do these tasks, don’t ask, just anticipate and be there for doing things.
Be willing to listen
Once the initial shock is over, your friend will probably want to talk about the loved ones. They may also wish to discuss financial arrangements and future plans to get life back on track. Be willing to listen to them and offer help in every way you can. At times, your friend will expect you to only lend an ear, so take the cues and do the needful. Take them out and help them live normally once again.
The loss of a loved one is irreversible, but the least you can do is to be there for someone who has borne it. Just standing by them can give them the courage and strength they need to move on.